As part of efforts for the country to improve on livestock production, the Federal Government has disclosed that about two hundred artificial insemination centres would be set up across the federation.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh made the disclosure during his meeting with a delegation of officials from Ireland led by the Minister of Agriculture, Food, Marine and Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney in his office on 30th November, 2015
The Minister who decried a situation where cattle produces one or less litre of milk per day in the country, said thirty seven percent of Nigerian Children was said to be malnourished according to the United Nations international Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). He noted that the present administration was ready to collaborate with the developed countries particularly the Irish government in its effort to move the Agricultural sector forward.
He said various initiatives and technical programmes would be introduced to attract young people who form the highest population in the country into agricultural sector, noting that the sector had hitherto been left to the older people.
Chief Ogbeh said the ministry would engage in massive irrigation system in the northern part of the country to grow feeders to feed the cattle and prevent migration of cattle from the north which usually results to the depletion of their nutrients.
The minister commended the delegation of Irish officials for their visit and determination to foster more partnership with Nigeria. He said the nation was ready to partner with the Irish government on areas of capacity building, livestock production as well as expansion of palm oil and sugar industries among others.
Chief Ogbeh said the ministry would open up further discussion with the delegation in a bid to share ideas and knowledge on how to move the nation’s agricultural sector forward.
Earlier in his remarks, the Ireland Minister of Agriculture, Food, Marine and Defence and leader of the delegation, Mr. Simon Coveney said the purpose of their visit was to build on the existing relationship between their country and Nigeria, in order to boost trade and investments in agricultural development.
The leader of the delegation said Ireland is good in food technology and development of indigenous capacity in agriculture. He explained that Irish government was ready to share its fifty years experiences in agriculture with Nigeria and added that his country has many young people in the agriculture sector which would be replicated in Nigeria.
Mr. Coveney disclosed that Ireland which has exports into many countries produces about forty percent of infant formula globally.
The Ireland Minister appreciated the focus of the present administration on the diversification of the Nigeria’s economy to Agriculture said about 43 Irish companies are already working in the country, adding that food companies from Ireland would link up with the country so as to create jobs, wealth and add value to food production.
He therefore extended invitation to officials of the ministry for a visit to Ireland for the sharing of knowledge and experience to develop the agricultural sector.
Tony Ohaeri – Director Information
30th November, 2015